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Susan Matsukawa vs. UWEC: The 1982 Incident Which Created Debate About Religious Organizations and Freedom of Speech on Campus

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Eastman, Glen
Wright, Ashley K. E.
Jan 07, 2009
Unification Church.; Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles.; Cults--Wisconsin--Eau Claire.; University of Wisconsin--Eau Claire--Societies, etc.; Matsukawa, Susan.; Freedom of religion--Wisconsin--Eau Claire.
In the Fall of 1982 Susan Matsukawa enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (UWEC) with the intent and purpose of establishing a religious cult. She was a member of the Unification Church and attempted to form a branch of the Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP) on campus. The Unification Church, led by Reverend Sun Myung Moon, was considered by some members of society to be a dangerous cult. In 1982, public hysteria following the Jonestown massacre led to a critical view of religious organizations which were considered to be cults. This massacre was manufactured by Reverend Jim Jones, leader of the Peoples Temple, leading to the demise of over nine hundred people. The Peoples Temple, considered a religious cult, displayed the perils due to susceptibility of cult members. After Matsukawa made her intentions of establishing CARP on the UWEC campus she faced apprehension from school administration due to the hysteria related to cult activity. This led to Matsukawa's filing a grievance against Dr. Robert Shaw, Dean of Students, claiming infringement of her First Amendment rights by UWEC administration. This case led to much debate about religious organizations and free speech on the UWEC campus.
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